I’ve noticed a few people picking up on how Lent has become not much more than a diet wrapped in spiritual language. It reminds me that nearly two months ago lots of people were deciding that they would start the New Year with a diet wrapped up in chronological language. Would it be oversimplistic of me to suggest that half the people on diets shouldn’t bother and the other half should just eat more sensibly? Look..! See how easy it is to start talking about Lent and end up talking about not eating stuff.
Jesus didn’t go into the desert to shake off a few pounds, but to shake off the devil. His purpose was to prove that Satan had no hold over him.
So this Lent how about asking yourself – “where am I aware that Satan thinks/knows I am weak?” Lent could be an opportunity to address perhaps just one area and seek to overcome. That might indeed mean giving something up (junk TV? driving when I could walk? speaking a certain way about people? unhelpful reading? porn? going to bed too late? and yes… maybe even certain eating habits?). Or it could mean taking something on (praying regularly for friends/colleagues? new giving of time/money/skills? regular or planned reading of the Bible/other books?).
I know that where I am weak is in not taking enough time to be still with God, so that’s what I want to try to achieve between now and Easter.
I guess Lent isn’t really about giving up, it’s about pressing in.
There’s lots of good stuff appearing – here are a few of my favourites so far…
For some practical and challenging ideas to do with our relationships check out A lent less ordinary: Friends, God and Enemies from [embody]
Picking up the idea that Lent can also be about giving, not just giving up, Sally has a link to the Church of England ‘Live Lent’ page and some top ideas.
Wise thoughts from Maggi Dawn about simplicity.
And Grace are running their (fifth!) annual lent blog here, with friends from the Grace community posting each day.
[pic: the Manga Bible. Well worth a look!]